Thirteen Rides Through the Haunted Mansion on Our 13th!

Grim Grinning Ghosts

Last Thursday evening Mr. Finger Candy came home, dropped his bag at the front door and said, “Let’s go to Disney World.  This weekend.  For our anniversary.”  And finally out of lameass excuses for why we couldn’t or shouldn’t – weight concerns, passports, finances, take your pick – I said yes.  Annnnnnddddd roughly 72 hours later we were standing in the Magic Kingdom!

‘Twas but a blitz of a trip, just a totally spontaneous handful of days, but we did manage to cross one of my LIFETIME bucket list items off the old roster in the form of 13 runs through the Haunted Mansion on Halloween, our 13th wedding anniversary.  The Mansion is rife with references to the number 13, and I’ve been taken with the notion of riding it 13 times in one day since I was about two years old; that this momentous event – yes, it was momentous! – took place on our 13th wedding anniversary, which itself falls on Halloween, was really just a matter of incredible timing.

Mansion 13 Collage

Tips for tackling such an impressive undertaking? 😉  Get there early and bang out as many runs in a row as you can.  We got to 10 before I declared a (super)nature break.  When we returned an hour or so later, we had “adorable” matching mini-strokes when we saw that the Mansion was offline, but it was just a temporary blip – the 999 happy haunts who inhabit the Mansion were up and spooking within minutes, and we were on our way to our 13th.

Another useful tip for hustling your way through the Mansion is to look for the tiny red dot along the wall in the room of stretching portraits.  This is where the panel will slide back, leading into the main queue area.  Line yourself up with this dot and you’ll be in the perfect spot to sweep through the doors and straight onto a Doom Buggy in the time it takes your room-mates to even realize a door has opened.

Mansion Outdoors Collage

Unlike virtually every other ride in the Magic Kingdom, the Haunted Mansion does not exit into a gift shop.  In fact, until about two or three years ago, the Mansion did not have a gift shop; you could find its wares set up on a Victorian era hearse just outside the gates.  Today you can find all Mansion merch around the corner at Memento Mori, the Mansion’s designated gift shop.  That’s where we snagged a few souvenirs to commemorate our trip, our anniversary and 13 completed runs through the Mansion!

Magic Band Collage

2017’s limited edition Haunted Mansion Magic Bands seemed in order.  “Okay, yeah, so they’re cool and all,” you may be saying to yourself, “but Sandra, what precisely are you two numbskulls going to do with a parks-specific RFID reader anyways?”  Well, take it back to Disney, for one.  We’re already planning another trip as early as Christmas. 🙂  If you stay on property at one of Disney’s resorts like we did – Port Orleans Riverside, and lordy, it was GORGEOUS! – you get a plain jane Magic Band that acts as your everything – room key, park admission, FastPass-getter, credit card.  It’s a nicely comprehensive little system.  Also an absolute nightmare for anyone with qualms about “governmental” oversight or the deep surveillance state.  Not sure what to say to those folks except a Disney vacation is absolutely not for you.  Your every move is being tracked and analyzed by the House of Mouse; accept this or perish (Wired published a great piece on Cyberdyne’s Mickey’s Magic Band tech here.)

Mansion Merch 1

Items that will perhaps get a bit more everyday use include a damask print tie for my husband and some cool Mansion maid socks for me.

Mansion Merch 2

And I couldn’t say no to a couple more items in the Mansion’s iconic damask-with-eyes wallpaper, including another pair of socks (can’t ever have too many) and a waterproof, super lightweight backpack that proved invaluable over our two days at the Magic Kingdom.  This sucker really fits a lot!  It also glows under black light, which is absolutely not why I purchased it in the first place (yes, it absolutely is!)

005

All fun and merch aside, though, it was an amazing day – a top three-er, no hesitation!  Really, how many of us get to say we completed a pretty nutso, lifetime bucket list item, and on a special anniversary, no less?!  This happy person, that’s who. 🙂

Mansion Shot

And none of this fabulous, fantastical – phantasmical? – fun would have been possible without being married to this incredible guy.  I highly recommend it.  He’s the Jack to my Sally in that I often have to keep him from enthusiastically spinning off into another dimension, but when he pulls me along for the ride, it’s always a wild and wonderful one.  I had the bestest time with my bestest friend. 🙂  A once-in-a-lifetime experience…although we’re already relishing the possibility of making it a multiples-in-a-lifetime experience.  To the next 13!

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11 thoughts on “Thirteen Rides Through the Haunted Mansion on Our 13th!

  1. So amazing that you just up and went to Disney World on such short notice! I applaud your spontaneity.
    I can’t believe you went through the Haunted Mansion thirteen times! How long was the line up each time or were you able to get right back on?
    Cool merchandise! I especially like the socks and backpack with the eyes pattern.
    And congrats on your anniversary again – truly once in a lifetime memories! You two will be talking about “remember the time for our 13th anniversary…?” for years to come!

    • Sorry, pulled the trigger too soon on that reply. Yes, we did ride it 13 times! That’s sort of crazy, right? It doesn’t just look nuts?! Although it wasn’t actually that bad, and I love the Mansion so much (and by the end boy howdy, so did my husband) that 13 rides (actually 16 over two days) was not an issue. I had thought given the time of year that the Mansion would be kind of swamped, but it really wasn’t too bad – definitely one of the busier attractions in the park (you could hear people all over getting excited about riding the “haunted” attraction actually on Halloween) but it was totally doable. The longest posted wait time we encountered was 50 minutes on our 11th run, but the actual wait time was just a bit under half an hour. Everything else we either walked onto or had just a five to 10-minute wait. It was actually like that all over the Magic Kingdom for all the rides – the posted times never actually matched up to the real wait time (thankfully!)

      But thank you for following along in our weird anniversary fun; I like coming home with memories and stories!

  2. Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🤗🤗🤗🤗😁😁When I saw the title to this post I screamed for you than continued to goofy grin my way through the rest of it!!!😊😊😊
    Oh, how wonderful and fun! I am so happy for you guys. What a wonderful way to spend your anniversary! See, dreams do come true 😊
    (Really needed this happy story today!)

    • Aw, thank you, I’m so glad you got some enjoyment out of my enjoyment! I am to entertain (maybe in juvenile ways, but sod those people!) We had an amazing time, and I’m delighted to have been able to share it with my friends. 🙂 Such a weird little blast of a good time.

  3. To be read belted out like Bette: “Did you ever know that you (and he) are my hero? And everything I would like to be?”
    Well done, both! Although one of you was looking less enthused as the numbers hit double digits…Awesome merch haul too. Those string bags are majorly useful on vacation and you will be sportin the hardcore fan bands next time Disney tracks your movements, might as well be stylishly ghosted! {pun intended}
    You guys look great and like you are living the dream:))
    Ahem: “Did I ever tell you (and your husband) you’re my hero?
    You (and he) are everything, everything I wish I could be.”

    • You’re hilarious! 🙂 But seriously, out of everything I’ve ever done in my life, this was definitely the most nutso and spontaneous – VERY unlike us – and if it serves as any sort of inspiration, then that’s amazing. ‘Cause we’re totally gonna do it again, and soon – Disney/theme park stoke: it’s a real thing. We had the BEST time, and the whole little blitz trip has provoked this change in both of us where we’re like, well, it’s going to be just the two of us going forward (and various animal friends!) so maybe this is what we should do – gear our spare time and resources towards more cool experiences (especially ones of a Disney/Universal nature!) and maybe a little less towards stuff.

      Oh man, do I ever have a wicked case of the One Week Ons, though – as in, “We were doing X a week ago this time and it was so much better than this!” Although maybe not today exactly – we were flying home (boo) and they were the worst flights ever. We shall never discuss them again.

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